SIBA Debuts at the Indiana State Fair

Contributed by J. Morgan

Seven members of SIBA made an early morning trip to the Indiana State Fair on Saturday August 3rd. We first met at the Post road exit on I-74 just outside of the metro area, then caravanned to Gate 16 on the North West corner of the fairgrounds. John Miller and Jeff Ginn drove directly to the entrance of the Agriculture-Horticulture building and dropped off 100 pounds of Garry Reeves best honey for sale in the Indiana Beekeeper Association Honey booth. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew drove under the covered bridge, parked in the infield and made their way to the booth on foot.

No sooner had we gathered inside training began. Debbie Seib got us going and got out of the way. Jason Morgan took on the sampling table and went through a big pile of miniature spoons. That man could sell water to a drowning man, I’m just saying. Jason’s family came with us and left to see the dedication of the world’s largest popcorn ball, from there they made a day of the fair with Jeff Ginn's family. Tina Fancher worked as a cashier and stocker, making change out of her apron pocket. Kevin Fancher sold honey and answered questions over at the observation hive. Tim Conley started out selling Honey Ice Cream and helped all over as everyone rotated jobs. The first shift was over before anyone knew it.

Dave Broxterman, joined by John Miller on second shift was helped by Debbie Seib and her friends Alan, Sheila, Tom and Jeff. Debbie had a card swipe attached to her phone so we were able to take plastic money as well as paper. Dave was a monster on the observation hive. He talked to an endless line of people wanting to see the bees, the queen was not marked and she didn’t much care for fingers on the glass over her back. Dave sent a good bit of time hunting her down after she ran to the other side of the hive. John took over the sampling table and tried to equal the work of Jason before him. In a blink closing time came and we were in a rush to restock the ice cream and put everything away. The closing money count revealed that on the SIBA-operated day, we took in a near record amount. We were only a hundred dollars below the all-time record from 2010, pretty good for a bunch of rookies.

Of the money collected, 80% goes to the honey producers, 10% to the fair board for the space and the rest covers all other expenses. The booth sells only bee products from the state of Indiana. Everyone went home tired but happy. Come join us next year. Go to the Indiana State Fair!

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